The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (7-4) will try to prolong a six-game home winning streak when they clash with the Belmont Bruins (7-5) at E.A. Diddle Arena. Western Kentucky is a 6-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 149.5 points. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 19, 2017.
Belmont Bruins at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Free Preview
In the Bruins last contest, they defeated the Pepperdine Waves, 79-62. Amanze Egekeze was the games high scorer with 21 points on 8-for-16 shooting. Belmont dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had an extraordinary offensive rebounding percentage of 36.0 (above their season average of 22.7) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.679 (above their season average of 0.554). For those same stats, Pepperdine was 15.0 and 0.556, respectively.
The Hilltoppers come in on a high note after topping the Indiana State Sycamores in their last contest, 81-65. Western Kentucky’s Darius Thompson played well, recording 17 points, six rebounds and five assists. Western Kentucky dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a superb free throw rate of 0.302 (above their season average of 0.240) and a turnover percentage of 15.5 (better than their season average of 16.1). For those same stats, Indiana State recorded marks of 0.067 and 24.1, respectively.
Western Kentucky figures to have the edge on the offensive side of the ball. The Hilltoppers rank 87th in offensive efficiency, while Belmont ranks 207th in defensive efficiency.
Games involving these teams have typically finished over the projected point total. Belmont games have finished over 60.0 percent of the time, while Western Kentucky games have gone over 66.7 percent of the time. Both teams have decent straight up (SU) records (7-5 for Belmont; 7-4 for Western Kentucky), but the Hilltoppers have the advantage against the spread (ATS). Western Kentucky is 7-2 ATS, while the Bruins are 5-3-2.
Thompson has really been playing well over the last five games for Western Kentucky, averaging 14.4 points, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after the Bruins won the lone contest last season, 90-69. Belmont was lights out from beyond the arc (16-34; 47.1 percent). Western Kentucky, meanwhile, did a great job of converting from the free throw line (7-10; 70.0 percent).
Belmont Bruins at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Western Kentucky, ATS Winner – Western Kentucky, O/U – Over
- The Bruins rank 67th in assists per game (15.5) while the Hilltoppers rank 119th in assists allowed per game (13.5).
- Belmont is 3-1 ATS on the road with 2 overs and 2 unders.
- At home, Western Kentucky is 3-1 ATS with 3 overs and 1 under.
- Belmont ranks third in three pointers attempted per game (31.9) while Western Kentucky ranks 259th (15.5).
- The Hilltoppers rank 41st in steals per game (7.9) while the Bruins rank 180th (5.1).
- Belmont ranks 29th in blocks allowed per game (2.4) while Western Kentucky ranks 141st (4.3).
- Western Kentucky is 4-1 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Belmont is 2-1-1 ATS with 3 overs and 1 under.
- The Hilltoppers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 12.0, up from 8.8 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Bruins have scored an average of 75.4 points per game (0.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 71.2 points per game (1.3 below their season average).